Saturday, April 30, 2016

April Monthly Wrap Up 2016


   Hello everyone! April is over, and it is finally time for May flowers! I couldn't be more excited for
May! A few sort weeks ago I very last minutely signed up to attend BEA 2016 and BookCon, and oh my gosh that's coming up so fast. I guess that's what happens when you plan a trip last minute right?
   Along with attending BEA and BookCon, I will also be at the Maggie Stiefvater signing on the 10th, as well as the Sarah J Maas signing on the 14th! If you see me at all, feel free to come and say hi!I promise that I'm super friendly and would love to meet you! And if you're a blogger then, hopefully I'll be seeing you at the Blogger Dinner?
   When it's come to packing I am honestly so stumped on what to pack book wise! Because I'm flying in I'll have a few restrictions, including a weight one. So bringing books from home to get signed, as well as picking up new books at BEA will be a struggle. So far all I know is that I need my ARC of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas to be signed.
  here. Next months book club book is The Crowns Game by Evelyn Skye! I'm been dying to read this one for a while now, and I couldn't be happier to finally get the chance!
   Besides planning for BEA, April was a more relaxing month. The only other things that happened was a Be First Book Club meeting and a signing for Colleen Nelson, that you can read about
   That's all for this month! Expect TONS for next month, I'm sure that I'm going to be rambling on about BEA for a long time!
   Now for the stats!



Books Read:




Book Haul:

 A huge thank you for McNally Robinson and Raincoast Publishing for two of the lovely pictures posted above! 

Books Reviewed:




May Books That I'm Excited For:



   That's it for this month! What new books did you pick up this month? What were some great books that you read? Let me know in the comments! I'm always in need of a new book to add to my TBR pile!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Release Date: October 22nd, 2013
Read: March 23rd -April 22nd, 2014
Publisher: Disney- Hyperion
Series: The Darkest Minds, #1
Format: Paperback, 488 pages
Source: Bought




Description from GoodReads:



   When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

   Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.' to

Review:


   I'm afraid of how much I don't know.
   I had heard about The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken, so very long ago. Time went by and then I found myself with an ARC of Never Fade, the sequel to The Darkest Minds, but I still hadn't picked up the series to read. It wasn't until I was leaving for my school trip and needed something to read that I went finally and picked up the first book.
   Starting the book I instantly got dija vu, like I'd read a book similar to this one before. Children suddenly getting powers, I'd just felt like I've seen it before. Fortunately that didn't stop me from continuing on with the story.
   I loved how The Darkest Minds had so many things going on in the story all at once, the objective to get to Slip Kid, the ongoing chase of the four, on the road to get away from Cate and the League, and from the PSF's, it all created an adventurous read that even with the slightest addition to the game board making it all that more interesting. And that's exactly what happened at the end of the novel, making the cliffhanger more unbearable.
   I loved Ruby, even with her rough situation of her powers, especially when they caused her to loose so many important things in her life, she stood strong and would always try to keep Zu, Chubs and Liam safe. Her need to protect them made her all that more of an admirable character.
   I also enjoyed reading about Liam, he reminded me a lot of one of my closest friends, so I would always picture them the same.
   I'm glad I finally got around to reading The Darkest Minds, It was an exciting fast paced read that I would recommend to anyone in need of a  little bit of adventure. Now onto Never Fade!
   

Rating:


Favourite Quote:


"The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces."


Recommend to People Who Enjoy:


Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci Fi, Dystopian, Apocalyptic, super powers, chosen ones, mutations, diseases

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Book Review: Titans by Victoria Scott

Release Date: February 23rd, 2016
Read: March 21st -April 5th, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Series: N/A
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Source: Gift



Description from GoodReads:


   Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.

   She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.


   But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about. 

Review:


   I've never been this critically close to the grave.
   Victoria Scott is my favourite, she is such a sweetie and an incredible author at the same time. Since Fire & Flood, Scott is forever an automatic buy, and it was the exact same for Titans. From the moment I got my hands on it, I just couldn't wait to read it.
   Titans was a little bit of a different experience than the rest of Scott's previous novels, first of all, this was her first standalone. So when reading the story you knew that the story would be done once you hit the end of the book, and you knew to not expect a cliffhanger. It was a nice refreshing novel if you're looking for a break from series commitment.
   The racing, the gambling, I really enjoyed the backstory to why Astrid did what she did, and that she didn't do it for the money. Hart on the other hand, we got a brief description on why he was a jockey, but I would have preferred just a little bit more information on him.
   I loved all the mechanical information and research Scott put into the novel, to make everything accurate. Having taken a mechanic course at the beginning of my grade 10 year, I already knew a few things here and there, but for the newbies reading the book, Scott did a perfect job of introducing them to the work, and throwing a little bit extra in there for people like me. Everything went together perfectly.
   Finally, with Astrid's little collection of parts that her father snagged for her, I had totally thought that one of those parts would be the answer to their little crisis in the end. I was completely surprised when Scott didn't take that root.
   Once Victoria Scott completely aced yet another book, and who could be surprised? I'm already counting down the days until her 2017 releases, Violet Grenade and Hear the Wolves.

Rating:



Favourite Quote:


"Dorment for too long. Awake at last."

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:


Young Adult, Sci-fi, Adventure, Racing, Horse Racing, Mechanical Horses, Betting



Friday, April 22, 2016

Recommendation Fridays: The Host by Stephenie Meyer

   A little while after I finished the last book in the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, I felt like I would never find another book that I'd love as much as that series. (I was a very moody 12 year old.) Then my mom suggested Meyer's other series, The Host series. At first I assumed it was an adult novel, but feeling a little bit desperate I went ahead and read it. 
   The Host has become one of my all time favourite novels, from loving the characters, to the plot. I'd even say that I prefer it over The Twilight Saga. Filled with adventure, love, and aliens I couldn't of asked for a better book. 

   Just a heads up on the series though, it's been 8 years and we don't have a sequel yet.....

   Also, in my opinion the movie is fabulous! But I'll let you decide on that!


The series would probably be best for people who like the following books:
 Sci-Fi, Romance, Paranormal, Aliens, Inhabiting Human Bodies


The Host by Stephenie Meyer


Release Date: May 6th, 2008
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Series: The Host, #1
Format: Hardcover, 620 pages



Description from GoodReads:



   Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.



   As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love. 


   That's The Host! What do you think, will you be picking it up? Let me know if you do!



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday:(56)

Heir to the Sky

Amanda Sun
Harlequin Teen
Expected: April 26th, 2016


Description from GoodReads:


   As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family; by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman; and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.

   When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.

Why I Want it:


   After Amanda's Paper God Chronicles, I'm ready to read just about anything from her! Plus, doesn't the description sound AMAZING? I mean, a kingdom of floating continents?? Like c'mon, give it to me already!

   That's my Waiting on Wednesday this week! Will you be picking up Heir to the Sky? What are you waiting on this week?




Monday, April 18, 2016

DNF Book Review: This is the Story of You by Beth Kephart

Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Read: April 11th-14th, 2016
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Series: N/A
Format: ARC, 264 pages
Source: McNally Robinson/ Be First Book Club



Description from GoodReads:


   On Haven, a six-mile long, half-mile-wide stretch of barrier island, Mira Banul and her Year-Rounder friends have proudly risen to every challenge. But when a superstorm defies all predictions and devastates the island, when it strands Mira’s mother and brother on the mainland and upends all logic, nothing will ever be as it was. A stranger appears in the wreck of Mira’s home. A friend obsessed with vanishing is gone. As the mysteries deepen, Mira must find the strength to carry on—to somehow hold her memories in place while learning to trust a radically reinvented future.


   Gripping and poetic, This Is the Story of You is about the beauty of nature and the power of family, about finding hope in the wake of tragedy and recovery in the face of overwhelming loss.

Review:


   The sea comes and the sea goes.
   After reading the description for This is The Story of You I can honestly say that I wasn't all that interested. Because it was April's Be First Book Club book, I decided to give it a try. My first instinct was correct.
   The idea of a hurricane story was interesting, so I held onto that going through the novel. But within the first few pages, I noticed a few things. Kephert likes to describe things by just listing multiple things, over and over. First you'd be talking about bird watching then it would list things until you ended up in a basement. I found this particular descriptive style to be odd, and annoying. But continued on.
   I continued on to about 130 pages, where the story had just started to pick up. Thinking it would get better from there, I continued on once more. 20 pages more and I was still annoyed by Kepharts writing style, and the fact that nothing had really happened yet.
   I DNF'd This is the Story of You at roughly 56%, and will probably not be picking it up again in the future.

Rating:


Favourite Quote:


"Only thing in this world isn't replaceable is people."

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:


Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Survival, Islands, Hurricanes 



Saturday, April 16, 2016

Book Signing: Finding Hope by Colleen Nelson


   Last friday evening, The Autumn Bookshelf and I went to the Finding Hope Book Launch by Colleen Nelson at McNally Robinson
   My sister and I had been out of the world excited for the launch since February when we first found out about it. Roping the rest of the girls in, we had ourselves a pack car of girls that were excited too.      

   Dunburn had actually asked about a month ago if I'd like a copy of Finding Hope to review before it's release. So luckily I had finished the book that day for it's launch!

   The launch started off with everyone starting to wander in and find a chair, I didn't expect it to be so full. They actually had to move things around to make room for more chairs! While this was going on Colleen made her way around the crowd saying hi, and thank you to everyone for coming. She had such a large turn out when it came to friends and family, I couldn't help but smile every time she would talk to one of hr siblings.
   The event itself was moderated by Joanne Kelly, McNally's own Book Club runner. So she went ahead was introduced herself and Colleen then we jumped into reading the first few chapters.



   Then after there was a discussion time with Joanne and Colleen, as well as a question period with
the audience after they had finished. There were a lot of jokes from her family members, and coworkers.

   Then finally we were able to go and get out books signed!


   Overall, the signing was a wonderful experience and I'm excited to see what The Autumn Bookshelf thinks of Finding Hope! And to see what Colleen's next series has in store for us! (She gave us the heads up of it being a co-written dystopian, written with her sister.)

 

Finding Hope by Colleen Nelson


Release Date: March 19th, 2016
Publishing: Dundurn
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback, 200 pages


Description from GoodReads:


   Hope leaves her small town for a fresh start, but her plans are derailed by an online romance and the appearance of her brother.

   Hope lives in a small town with nothing to do and nowhere to go. With a drug addict for a brother, she focuses on the only thing that keeps her sane, writing poetry. To escape, she jumps at the chance to attend Ravenhurst Academy as a boarding student. She’ll even put up with the clique-ish Ravens if it means making a fresh start.

   At first, Ravenhurst is better than Hope could have dreamed. She has a boyfriend and a cool roommate, and she might finally have found a place she can fit in. But can she trust her online boyfriend? And what can she do after her brother shows up at the school gates, desperate for help, and the Ravens turn on her? Trapped and unsure, Hope realizes that if she wants to save her brother, she has to save herself first.

Check Out Ohana Reads' Review Here


   For anyone who hasn't yet read Finding Hope, I highly recommend it! It's a quick Contemporary read, although I do warn of some mature content!



Friday, April 15, 2016

Book Review: Finding Hope by Colleen Nelson

Release Date: March 19th, 2016
Read: April 5th-8th, 2016
Publishing:  Dundurn
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback, 200 pages
Source: Exchange with publisher for honest review.




Description from GoodReads:




   Hope leaves her small town for a fresh start, but her plans are derailed by an online romance and the appearance of her brother.


   Hope lives in a small town with nothing to do and nowhere to go. With a drug addict for a brother, she focuses on the only thing that keeps her sane, writing poetry. To escape, she jumps at the chance to attend Ravenhurst Academy as a boarding student. She’ll even put up with the clique-ish Ravens if it means making a fresh start.

   At first, Ravenhurst is better than Hope could have dreamed. She has a boyfriend and a cool roommate, and she might finally have found a place she can fit in. But can she trust her online boyfriend? And what can she do after her brother shows up at the school gates, desperate for help, and the Ravens turn on her? Trapped and unsure, Hope realizes that if she wants to save her brother, she has to save herself first.

Review:


   I'd never felt so alone.
   I had met Colleen at the MYRCA Round Table Dinner in October 2015, where my sister and I got to talk to her for a good period of time! But it wasn't until Dundurn sent me a copy of Finding Hope, that I actually had the chance to read one of her novels, and I couldn't be more excited. I had actually finished it in time for it's book launch, which made the experience even better.
   Finding Hope was told between the perspective of both Eric and his sister Hope, Eric being my favourite. It was intriguing to see the way Nelson portrayed his character. Being in the mind of a drug addict, sometimes we got to see his mind sober, and other times not. The research that had gone into making the novel accurate was probably extensive.
   Completely opposite of Eric, was Hope. Although siblings, I found them both complete opposites of each other. I also admired Hope's need to help her brother with his situation, although throughout the novel I found myself not taking a liking to her. Even if she had to deal with her rough life, of having to take care of her brother, and dealing with it on a day to day basis, I still found her immature and gullible. More often than not, I found myself shaking my head at her actions.
   Besides my dislike of Hope, Finding Hope was a quick, enjoyable and mature read. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a contemporary to read. Although just a fair warning, it does have some more, mature matters besides the drug addiction that would probably wouldn't make the book best for younger audiences.

Rating:


Favourite Quote:


"A secret
Held close
spills,
tripping like blood into
your waiting hands."

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:


Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Family, Drug Use, Abuse


Friday, April 8, 2016

Book Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevive Tucholke

Release Date: March 22nd, 2016
Read: March 9th-16th, 2016
Publisher: Dial Books
Series: N/A
Format: ARC, 256 pages
Source: McNally Robinson/ Be First Book Club




Description from GoodReads:


   Every story needs a hero.
   Every story needs a villain.
   Every story needs a secret.

   Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

   What really happened?
   Someone knows.
   Someone is lying.


Review:


   Everyone is afraid of dying, Midnight.
   Like everyone, I was excited for Wink Poppy Midnight. I had read Tucholke's debut novel more than a year ago, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, so I knew to expect weird and unusual. I just didn't expect it to be that unusual.
   I did not enjoy the story that is Wink Poppy Midnight, I found it to be very confusing and nothing special. I went through the book slowly, and feeling like it would never end. The story was constant back and fourth, it was all repetitive.
   One thing stood out for me in the book though, and that was the food. Tuckolke would bring up unusual foods that aren't often thought of, and example would be Olive Oil Ice Cream. With owning an Olive Oil shop, I know the wonderfulness of it with Ice Cream. So having it brought up alongside other unique favourites, like pumpkin hot chocolate, fresh salad with basil and olive oil drizzled over it, overjoyed me.
   If you are ever looking for an usual read to mess with your mind, then Wink Poppy Midnight is the one for you.

Rating:

Favourite Quote:


"When you look into the darkness, the darkness looks into you."

"I get away with murder because I'm pretty."


Recommend to People Who Enjoy:


Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Tarot Cards, unique foods + living styles






Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Blog Tour: The Fallen Prince by Amalie Howard


   Hello and welcome to The Fallen Prince Blog Tour!
   I'm so excited to be able to celebrate Amalie's latest release with you all, I'm a super fan of her Aquarathi series!
   So today I have for you an exclusive excerpt, as well as a contest for you to enter! I hope you enjoy, and if you enter the contest, then I hope you have good luck!

The Fallen Prince by Amalie Howard


Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Publishing: Sky Pony Press
Series: The Riven Chronicles, #2
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages



Description from GoodReads:


   Riven has fought for a hard-won peace in her world, and has come to shaky terms with who and what she is—a human with cyborg DNA. Now that the rightful ruler of Neospes has been reinstated, Riven is on the hunt for her father in the Otherworld to bring him to justice for his crimes against her people.

   But when she receives an unwelcome visit from two former allies, she knows that trouble is brewing once again in Neospes. The army has been decimated and there are precious few left to fight this mysterious new threat.

   To muster a first line of defense, her people need help from the one person Riven loathes most—her father. But what he wants in return is her complete surrender.

   And now Riven must choose: save Neospes or save herself.




   The flare of blue fire is blinding. Then again, it’s gone so quickly that even if you were staring right at me, you’d blink and it’d vanish. The emissions from the process of eversion—shifting between universes—are unavoidable. However, I try to be careful, everting in concealed areas away from people, and away from the eyes of the Faction and the Guardians. They’re always watching for those who break the law—those who don’t
remain where they belong.
Me, more so than ever.
I belong in Neospes, a domed city in a parallel dimension to the Otherworld. But I’m here in pursuit of a man who everted over a year ago. A man who nearly destroyed my world in his quest for power. A man so consumed with retaliation that to let him loose in either world would be a colossal mistake. 
And so I hunt him. I’ve been hunting him—across thirty states and always a step or two behind. He’s clever, brilliant, and a master strategist.
After all, he’s my father. And he’s my creator.
I may look like an ordinary girl, but I’m far from one. It’s something I’m still coming to terms with, ever since I learned the truth. I am a product of genetic experimentation and advanced robotics. I am the girl with nanoplasm for blood—the perfect combination of human and machine, an aberration of nature—and yet, its greatest creation. I am the only one of my kind.
My name is Riven.
And I am a killer.


The TAG Initiative Contest


   Celebrate the dual releases of The Riven Chronicles–THE ALMOST GIRL and THE FALLEN PRINCE–by participating in this awesome, fun, month-long contest.

   Are you up to the challenge?

   Join the initiative starting on March 24th 2016 to celebrate The Riven Chronicles’s THE ALMOST GIRL and THE FALLEN PRINCE!

   It’s easy…Complete at least one challenge, earn points with each completed challenge, and have a chance to win a Lenovo Ideapad 11.6″ laptop. Yes, you absolutely read that right–enter for a chance to win a LAPTOP (*US only due to shipping restrictions).



   AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango
trees and dreaming of adventure.
   An aspiring writer from a young age, Amalie Howard's poem “The Candle,” written at age thirteen, was published in a University of Warwick journal. She was also a recipient of a Royal Commonwealth Society essay award (a global youth writing competition). A Colby College graduate, she completed simultaneous Honors Theses in both French and International Studies, and graduated Summa Cum Laude/Phi Beta Kappa. At Colby, she was cited for research and criticism in Raffael Scheck’s article, “German Conservatism and Female Political Activism in the Early Weimar Republic,” and his subsequent book, “Mothers of the nation: right-wing women in Weimar Germany.” She also received a distinction in English Literature from the University of Cambridge, A-level Examinations as well as a certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale SupĂ©rieure in Paris, France. She is a member of SCBWI.



   Thanks for stopping by! Hopefully you guys check out Amalie's books! They are fantastic!